REVIEW: LEGO MOVIE (2014)

Shooty score: 3/5 Kicky score: 3/5 Buildy score: 5/5

Enjoy with: A dry sparkling white, like a Cava (I like the Spanish, Codorniu 1872 Vintage Brut Cava ). If sparkling wine is not your thing go for a gin a with heavy citrus undertones. What the heck, try something fun like Sipsmith Lemon Drizzle Gin. Whatever you do, make sure you pick something with an extra sprinkle of pixie dust to help elevate your experience from marvellous to AWESOME.


 

“The Lego Movie” is a fantastic example of an animated film that injects adults with a heavy sedative to help them escape their null existence, while also entertaining pitiful small children with bright colours.

Set in a universe where everything is made from… Lego, we follow ‘regular guy,’ Emmett (Chris Pratt), as he awkwardly struggles to fit into his dystopian society where everything has its place.

Dystopians, being dystopian, Emmett’s world is controlled by President Business (Will Farrell) who hatches a plan to recover an ancient relic that will help him take full control. Ancient relic, being an ancient relic, it comes with a prophecy that President Business will not succeed thanks to the ‘Special.’ Prophecies being prophecies – you get the picture. Emmett discovers he’s the Special and must learn to harness the power of the brick to save the day.

Crucially no save-the-world hero formula would be complete without a (hetero) love interest. Cue spunky Wyldstyle (Elizabeth Banks). Starting out with so much promise, Wyldstyle is an ass-kicking Master Builder, who fucks shit up and dates Batman. Unfortunately, her character quickly falls victim to the worthy/not worthy female archetype. You know the one I mean. It’s the girl who is the smartest, most competent and talented person in the room but is simultaneously the most unworthy of any praise or reward- because it would distract from the hapless guy’s journey to get everything he ever dreamed of, instantly, with no work. Don’t worry, faithful to the cliche, Wyldstyle is cool with it because falling in love with the hero is the greatest reward for any woman. Yeah, I made this a thing. Fight me.

That aside the movie is mesmerising to watch. In a world where you can build anything, the animation lives up to the task, and the action is both incredibly exciting and mind-boggling inventive. It is a delight to watch as a multitude of bricks get smacked together to build a gun turret faster than you can say, “where’s the yellow piece”?

There’s also a host of brilliant supporting characters and enough pop culture references to seduce all 20+-year-olds into thinking they know shit.

A special shout-out to the film’s crowning character, Bad Cop (Liam Neeson). Sharing part of his personality with Good Cop, Bad Cop is the tiny pin-up of the badest mother fucking cop around. He leads supercharged chase scenes, wrecks office furniture, tortures his prisoners and leaves his parents for dead. Ooft. Mother, may I?

However, like all great action films, there is the underlying jeopardy of death. Usually, this is a crucial cornerstone in any movie worth reviewing. Yet there’s something very philosophically troubling about the notion of death in “The Lego Movie.”

For instance, if you dismember a lego person and put them back together do they die and then reincarnate? If they do, are they the same person? If so, is it because they are the sum of all the parts or is it due to a particular essence? In the film, a pirate who’s been beheaded has put himself back together with new bricks and remains the same pirate; while Good Cop has his face erased and loses his identity. But then there is a lego death after a character loses its head, which contradicts the assumptions made so far about what constitutes life in the lego world.

Maybe this is all void because I’m conflating life with existence and rationalising it is just a distraction from facing the humdrum of my own life as it slowly slips away. Never anchored to any sense of self apart from the vague connection between the voice in my head and an idea of ‘consciousness.’

Existential crisis aside. “The Lego Movie” is a thrilling ride that couples excellent plot with humour and tender emotional discoveries. It will undoubtedly leave you feeling inspired to do some drunk Amazon shopping. Depending on how flushed you are, you might be better off investing that cash in more cava.

Runtime: 100 mins
Certificate: U – universal appeal for those who hate their life.
Dir: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller
Story: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman
Screenplay: Phil Lord, Christopher Miller